30% of New York Times Paywall Will Now Go to Apple

A year in the making, the New York Times paywall was finally revealed today–and it reveals just how important Apple has become in the online publishing ecosystem.

The last time Steve Jobs was on stage, he boasted that iTunes now had over 200 million credit cards on file, possibly the largest consumer database on the web.

It’s a data point worth repeating, now that the NYT has announced its paywall will run through the iTunes store. That means the NYT is willing to give up 30 percent of revenue and a lot of customer information in order to tap the market Apple has built.

In a strange way, the NYT may be hoping that the online paywall drives more readers to purchase the print edition. By the odd logic of advertising, paper readers are worth far more. As Peter Kafka notes, the best bang for the buck is the old school paper version. Going all-access online is $35 a month, versus around $25.35 a month for new paper subscribers.

Another interesting note, the NYT states that folks can get five free articles a day if they arrive from Google, but get an unlimited number of stories if they arrive through Facebook or Twitter. Why the tax on search and the pass on social?

30% of New York Times Paywall Will Now Go to Apple